Election Special: Endorsements!
The election’s just a week away, and if you haven’t yet made up your mind about all those local contests … well, what can we tell you, you’re just screwed. (Kidding!) Frequent readers will note we’ve been keeping track of all the endorsements we’ve come across for city council, school board and a raft of local ballot measures. Now we’re offering our own. For a full list of all your ballot options, click here.
By the way, we’ll be blogging live on election night, so stay tuned for that.
City Council: Marie Gilmore and Doug deHaan
To us, council incumbent Marie Gilmore is an obvious choice for City Council. She’s put in a lot of years on behalf of this city on various boards and commissions and is thoughtful, reasonable and super-smart. We’ve got a lot of major challenges ahead of us, and we think Gilmore is exactly the type of person we need to handle them.
We’re also endorsing incumbent Doug deHaan. DeHaan also has a long history of service to the city, and many Alamedans appreciate his willingness to voice their concerns about the changes to come (though we will note that at times those could be a little more respectfully expressed). We’re hopeful that he will continue to ask the tough questions that should be asked as Alameda deals with ongoing budget problems and development of Alameda Point.
School Board: David Forbes, Ron Mooney and Nielsen Tam
In the time we’ve been watching the school board, we’ve become fans of incumbent David Forbes’s low-key but effective leadership style. We were impressed when he stood up for West End schools in the face of budget cuts (which to us is one of several indications that he’s willing and able to represent the interests of students all over the Island) – and that he is willing to admit to problems (like a lack of relationships with the business community in the runup to Measure H) and seek solutions. We feel Forbes is a clear choice for re-election.
We’re also endorsing Ron Mooney, who we feel has demonstrated an unimpeachable commitment to maintaining a quality public education for our kids. He has served on the board of the Alameda Education Foundation and helped run several local campaigns that provided tax money to keep the schools operating. That hasn’t exactly made him the most popular guy in town, but we feel it does make him one of the most qualified.
Our third endorsement for school board goes to Niel Tam. Tam’s got 38 years of experience as a teacher and a principal in our schools – experience the board could use as it deals with disparate test scores and what could end up being some major changes in the school services Alameda provides. Tam also offers his ability to reach out to businesses and a host of others to solve funding and other problems. And that’s a skill in desperate demand in any public office.
Measure P: Yes
After much agonizing, we’re recommending a yes vote for P, which would increase the city’s property transfer tax from $5.40 per $1,000 of purchase price to $12. We’ll offer our full rationale on this one in a separate post later this morning.
Measures Q-X: Yes to all
The list of amendments to the city charter includes measures that would clean up charter language, require contracts be in writing, allow the city manager to grant no-bid contracts in an emergency and more. The Sun actually did a great piece last week laying out each measure and what it would do, we couldn’t find a link to the whole thing so just check it out in the paper.